The Pastor's Peace - December, 2015
<< Previous page
The other night at a church meeting we went around the room and named things we were thankful for, praying and giving thanks afterwards. There were many of the usual items one would think we were thankful for: health, family, and friends. Without saying it, I think all of us were also thankful that we weren’t part of the recent violence that struck Paris and Lebanon on the 13th of November. Such acts of hurt and destruction are so hard for us to fathom. Such things should not happen, and we as humanity should have long ago realized that, yet we have not.

In light of all of this, one addition to my thankful list is that I am thankful for God. This might seem pretty straightforward for a pastor. I love God and am thankful for God, etc. All this is true, but in this instance I am thankful for a more specific reason. I am thankful because we as humanity need God. We as a people sometimes think that we alone can bring about peace in the world, solve all problems on our own, and recreate paradise on earth. All of these are lofty goals; however, humans have shown without a doubt that left to our own devices we will not make it. I am therefore thankful that something greater and transcendent to us exists. I am grateful that there is goodness and love in the form of God that can be a guidepost and light in the darkness for us.

Of course, one could have long arguments about how belief in the divine encourages some who cause the harm we fear. On the surface this might seem true, but my belief is that anyone who would harm an innocent in the name of God does not follow God at all. They follow only their own desires and ideals, replacing God with their own sense of supremacy. It is not that any of our religions is dangerous, but rather that false religions replace a God of love with human ego and selfish desires. As we sit with our families this Christmas season, as we remember and celebrate the birth of Christ into this world, remember what Christ represents. Christ is a prince of peace, the incarnation of a God of love, one who would never take the life of another, but rather lay down his life for all. Such a bright star is needed now more than ever in our world that struggles with darkness. The Christ child is coming—prepare a way in the world and in your hearts.

Peace and Love this Christmas,
Pastor Bryan